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Bier's block; 100 years old and still going strong!

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In August 1908 Karl August Bier, Professor of Surgery in Berlin, described a new method of producing analgesia of a limb which he named ‘vein anesthesia’. Bier first presented his new method of intravenous regional anesthesia (IVRA) at the 37th Congress of the German Surgical Society on 22 April, 1908, only 10 years after his significant communication on spinal anesthesia ( 1). His method, which now bears his name, consisted of occluding the circulation in a segment of the arm with two tourniquets and then injecting a dilute local anesthetic through a venous cut-down in the isolated segment. Bier had the good fortune to use procaine, the first safe injectable local anesthetic that had been synthesized by Einhorn in 1904.

Keywords: Bier block;; IVRA; history

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Anesthesia, Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network, Toronto, Canada 2: Clalit Health Services, Southern District, Beer-Sheva, Israel, and 3: Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel. Hashomer and

Publication date: 2004-01-01

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